Does Cold Weather Affect an Invisible Fence? (In Some Cases)

If you live in an area that frequently experiences low temperatures, you may be wondering, “does cold weather affect an Invisible Fence?”

While extreme circumstances such as heavy snow or power outages may cause problems with an invisible fence, cold weather in general should not affect it.

Let’s explore a little more about how to take care of your invisible fence in cold weather.


Before you purchase an electric fence, we recommend putting an emphasis on obedience training and taking the time to positively reinforce boundaries.

This positive training of your dog can prevent the potential stress – or even fear – of an electric fence collar. 

While electric fence collars won’t hurt your dog, certain dogs may experience emotional distress without the proper training.

Check out brain training techniques, a science-backed way to improve your dog’s behavior without the use of force or fear!

Will it Work in the Winter?

invisible fences will work in the winter as long as they have a reliable power source
Unless there’s a power outage or the snow gets too deep to receive a signal from the collar, your invisible fence will work in cold weather.

In most cases, invisible fences should continue to work throughout the winter, even in very cold temperatures.

During the winter months, your fence is equipped to deal with many types of weather, such as:

  • Extreme cold
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Sleet
  • Frozen ground

Most parts of your invisible fence, such as receiver collars and wires, are designed to hold up against the elements

Additionally, receiver collars are water resistant, and some are fully waterproof, depending on the brand.

So, even if your dog gets into the snow or ice with its receiver collar on, the invisible fence system will continue working

For wired fences, the wire will be insulated against extreme temperatures or precipitation allowing the wires to continue transmitting even if it snows or the ground freezes.

The only part of your fence system that is not protected against the elements is your transmitter.

This is why it is so important to keep your transmitter away from the elements

However, even with these precautions in place, there are a few potential problems you should watch out for during cold weather.

Read More: Do Electric Fences Work in the Winter? We cover wired and wireless fences and how they perform in the winter!

Power Outages

Your invisible fence should still work in the winter as long as the transmitter still gets power.

However, if a power outage causes your transmitter to go down, your fence will lose power and stop working, allowing your dog to escape the yard

Some fence brands, such as Invisible Fence, do have a invisible fence back up battery that will kick in if the power suddenly goes out.

This battery backup will give you time to get your dog back inside until you can get your power back up and running. 

Check with your individual fence manufacturer to see if a backup battery is an option for your transmitter. 

Keep in mind that this is a temporary fix as backup batteries are only made to last a few hours.

Problems with Batteries

Extreme cold weather can cause problems with receiver collar batteries, causing the batteries in your dog’s receiver collar to have trouble operating. 

Most of the batteries used in invisible fence systems are lithium-ion batteries.

These types of batteries do need some degree of warmer temperatures in order to charge and work properly, so cold weather could cause them to stop working. 

In extremely cold weather, collars may have trouble holding a charge or being recharged.

If the battery does go out, your dog’s receiver collar will not be able to deliver warnings or shocks if they get too close to the boundary.

Does Invisible Fence Work Under Snow?

Does Invisible Fence Work under Snow
Snow and ice will affect your invisible fence more than cold weather alone.

Oftentimes with cold weather comes snow and ice, so do electric dog fences work in snow?

While cold weather may not directly affect your fence, snow and ice could have more of an impact

If you have a wired fence, deep snow or thick ice could cause signal loss, especially if the wire is buried deeply.

Because ice and snow are not good conductors, the fence signal may not be as strong or as exact on boundaries with the ground is frozen or if there is heavy precipitation. 

Additionally, if your transmitter is exposed to the elements, snow and ice could be detrimental to your transmitter.

Transmitters are not waterproof, so it cannot work in any kind of precipitation. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that snow is a big change in your dog’s environment so they may be more tempted to run through the fence while playing.

With a lot of snow on the ground, your dog may also get confused or forget where the boundary is, so keep an extra eye on them during extreme cold weather conditions.

How to Take Care of Your Fence in Cold Weather

How to Take Care of Your Fence in Cold Weather
Having a fence with a backup power source, extra collar batteries on hand, and keeping your transmitter out of the elements are all great ways to keep your fence in tip-top shape for the winter.

During periods of cold weather, there are a few special steps you can take to ensure your fence continues working:

  • If it snows, give your dog a quick reminder training session in the snow before you turn them loose in the yard to remind them that the barrier still exists and where.
  • If it snows heavily, increase the boundary width on the transmitter to accommodate for deep snow so the boundary signal can reach up on top of the snow
  • Test out the receiver collar before letting your dog outside to make sure the batteries have not been affected by the cold weather
  • Keep extra receiver collar batteries on hand just in case
  • Keep your transmitter away from the elements as it is not waterproof, and it is more sensitive to cold weather
  • Make sure your yard is safe for your dog during freezing temperatures. Do not let your dog outside for too long, and keep them away from hazards like frozen ponds
  • Get a backup battery for your transmitter in case of power outages.
  • Check with your specific fence manufacturer for any special instructions during cold weather.
  • In case your invisible fence does not work, have alternative containment systems ready, like leashes, keeping your dog inside, or a physical fence.

These careful preparations should ensure that your dog can still have a safe, fun time playing in the yard even during cold temperatures. 

You can learn more about invisible fences during the winter months with this video:

Can an Invisible Fence Be Installed During Cold Weather?

Can an Invisible Fence Be Installed During Cold Weather
Invisible fences can be installed anytime of the year, as long as the ground can be penetrated and there isn’t a lot of snowfall.

Invisible fences can still be installed during cold weather.

Electric dog fence installers often offer installation services throughout all seasons

If you choose to install your fence yourself, you may want to wait until it warms up a bit or at least until the ground thaws.

The frozen ground will be very difficult to dig into without the proper tools.


Your fence should continue working through cold weather unless it is affected by extreme events such as snow, ice, or power outages. 

By making proper preparations, you will be able to make sure your fence continues operating smoothly even through all of the chilly temperatures.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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